February, American Hearth Month

February is the month to treat your Valentine, but there is also another great celebration around this time of the year: the American Heart Month. This is a federally designated event, encouraging us to take care of our hearts and have our friends, family and community involved.

In light of this celebration, our Early Learning centers took part in a door decoration contest. Following a set of rules and letting the creativity and spark of our children’s minds lead the project, each center presented its own vision on how to promote habits to keep our hearts healthy. The submissions were divided by north and south sites, and a winner was selected from each group. Our Second Home and Redwood were the winners, but everyone enjoyed the learning experience!

Our Second Home portrayed happiness using children’s faces, and healthy hearts using healthy food stickers. On their door, they also shown sports and exercise as elements to be stronger. They also took care in showing the things that are not good for our heart, such as junk food.

In the Leo J. Ryan center, the budding artists created a beautiful collage of hands and an inspiring quote: “with a healthy heart and helping hands, a child can accomplish anything”. The colorful hands were decorated by each of our children, working together with the belief that discovering their strengths they can achieve their dreams.

The 87th Street site created a colorful hearts frame around the window of their door, depicting fun and actionable suggestions. Creating the hearts, selecting the activities and putting their decoration together as a team, they show the collaboration towards a common goal: to stay healthy.

Redwood created a colorful door based on a popular Mexican game, Lotería. The message is powerful: life is not a game. When it comes to our health, we should not take any chances, and start acting now for a healthy future. A healthy diet, being active and avoiding unhealthy foods and bad habits is the key to keep our heart ticking!

First Step draws attention using a creative message, “for heart’s sake, run, jump and shake!”. They include a message in Spanish also, “health is everything!”.

Mission encourages us to keep our heart health in check with the message: “to feel good from your head to your feet, keep a healthy heart!”. The door includes hearts colored by the children and pictures of all the little artists.

For our Haven center, heart disease is a topic that impacts children’s lives very closely. One of their fellow preschool students underwent a heart transplant surgery, and receives her medication daily, at exactly the same time. The children decided to place her picture in a prominent spot on the door, and to decorate the bottom part with their own pictures and hearts.

We loved to see the creativity and imagination of our children, and we especially like to thank each and everyone of you. Your continued support makes this fun learning opportunities possible.  And remember, to lead a healthier life, keep in mind AHA’s Life’s Simple 7: Get Active, Control Cholesterol, Eat Better, Manage Blood Pressure, Lose Weight, Reduce Blood Sugar and Stop Smoking.

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